USA Cycling has taken a lot of hits this year, with all that Lance shit. Earlier in the year there was lots of talk about people opting out of getting licenses this year as a form of protest. Then there was the (needed) hoopla over what races PROs could actually take part in without having to use nom de plumes. One could wonder what they could do to make amends. How ’bout live streaming the US PRO races in Chattanooga? Yeah okay. But how about also streaming the Woman’s races. YES!
The Olympic road race demonstrated to the world that Woman’s racing is every bit, and most the time MORE exciting than the Men’s races. Sadly, its often pretty damn hard to watch a woman’s road race. Which is a goddamn shame. Today’s US PRO Woman’s race showed why woman’s road racing needs more attention.
When I finally made it over to the coffee shop to watch the race Mara Abbott was off the front and trucking. With teammates in the chase group it looked like she was going to nail it. Jade Wilcoxson made a bold move to bridge just as Mara Abbott was struck with a puncture, then a difficult wheel change, then a broken derailleur hanger. It was, excuse the phrase, an epic mechanical. It was heart breaking to watch.
That moved Wilcoxson from being the chaser to being off the front. Kristen McGrath bridge and the two worked well together. Both riders were lucky enough to have teammates in the chasing group.
The two worked well together until the last small rise when Wilcoxson dropped the hammer and dropped McGrath. I’m not an Oregon native, but I lived there long enough to feel a bit of investment in here result. She soloed off, hammering in the drops. It was all over when she hit the descent. There was just a left hander between her and victory. Then, just like when Van Summeran won Roubaix, tears fell from my eyes.
That win was fucking beautiful.